The trachea, also known as the windpipe, is an important structure which connects the throat to the lungs. It is composed of 35- 45 C-shaped rings of cartilage that are joined by muscle and ligaments to create a tube-like structure. It serves the purpose of directing air into the respiratory tract.
When the cartilage rings are flattened from the top to the bottom, the trachea is said to be collapsed. Rapid inhalation of air can cause the trachea to flatten and make it difficult for air to enter the lungs, much like a soda straw being drawn on too vigorously.
Why does it happen?
We do not completely understand how this condition develops. However, we know that these dogs have an abnormality in the chemical makeup of their tracheal rings. The rings loose their stiffness so they are not able to retain their circular shape. We also know that it occurs in certain breeds of dogs, notably Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, Shih Tzus, Lhasa Apsos, Toy Poodles, and Yorkshire Terriers. Because of that, it is suspected that there is a genetic factor involved.
What are the signs?
With reverse sneezing the pharynx (back of the throat) goes into spasms. The dog finds it difficult to draw in air through the spasms, so it stands still, stretches out her neck, and thrusts its elbows out (like a bowlegged bulldog) as it honks, wheezes, or snorts. Often eyes open wide. The spasms will stop if she swallows a couple of times.
Young puppies can reverse sneeze, but the first episode typically occurs in late adolescence. Stay calm and get it to swallow with one of the methods described above. In a few seconds to a minute, it will run off to play. Reverse sneezing is a harmless phenomenon which needs no vet consultation and no medical treatment whatsoever. It is very common in toy breeds.
Other signs, however, will help
you distinguish the two conditions:
The most common clinical sign of collapsing trachea is a chronic cough. It is often described as dry and harsh and can become quite pronounced. The term "goose honk" is often used to describe it. Coughing is often worse in the daytime and much less at night. The cough may also begin due to excitement, pressure on the trachea (from a leash), or from drinking water or eating.
How is collapsed trachea diagnosed?
Many times, very light pressure
placed on the trachea during the physical examination can raise a suspicion
of collapsed trachea in a small dog with a persistent dry cough. While
the information gained from the physical examination is helpful, other
tests are needed to confirm this condition.
How is it treated?
Collapsed trachea can be treated medically or surgically. Some dogs respond well to:
Because medical therapy only treats the symptoms and not the problem, these dogs are always subject to recurrences of coughing and breathing difficulty.
Natural ways to treat your Yorkie:
For more information visit Mary Kay Keppler's article on collapsing trachea
This condition is often referred
to as a "liver shunt" but the current favored term appears
to be portosystemic shunt. These have also been referred to by more
exact terms since there are specific types of shunts that vary slightly.
The broad categories are extrahepatic and intrahepatic shunts, depending
on whether or not the shunt occurs in the liver or outside of it. Specific
types of shunts are patent ductus venosus, portal-azygous, portocaval
(portal-abdominal vena cava), atresia (lack of development) of the portal
vein and acquired shunts that occur due to
Yorkshire terriers are reported to have a higher than normal incidence of liver shunts. They are reported to be more likely to have extra-hepatic shunts which is good since they are easier to repair.
What are the signs?
How is Liver Shunt diagnosed?
How is it treated?
So far in my research I haven't
found a cure for Liver shunt besides surgery for portosystemic shunts.
As far as I know, dogs with extrahepatic shunts (occurring outside the
liver itself) is easier to do than surgery in dogs with intrahepatic
(inside the liver) shunts. If you know of a different cure please let
CLINICAL DIAGNOSIS OF HEPATIC PORTOSYSTEMIC SHUNTS
by Larry Snyder, DVM
Clinical Signs: Most dogs will be diagnosed with port-systemic shunts under one year of age, but dogs as old as eight have been diagnosed with the condition. Animals are usually stunted, thin, depressed, have trouble gaining weight, and are usually characterized by the owners as chronic "poor doers". In most affected dogs there will be some degree of behavioral signs ranging from listlessness, apathy, or depression to more severe signs of circling, head pressing, stupor, drooling, blindness, or convulsions, some leading to coma. These behavioral changes are due to an accumulation of toxins (especially ammonia) that affect the brain causing a condition called Hepatic Encephalopathy. These toxins are most abundant in the blood stream following the dog eating, especially a high protein meal, & may remain high for hours afterward. Not all dogs with the shunt will show this meal associated behavioral change, but in 25% of the affected dogs that do, the diagnosis becomes clearer. A high percent of affected animals show an intolerance to anesthetics or tranquilizers, & will show increased recovery times following use of these products. Even anti-convulsants used to control seizures may be potentially dangerous if allowed to concentrate in a dog with functional shunt. Approximately 75% of affected individuals will show digestive system symptoms including poor appetite, ascites, vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, or occasionally deranged appetite (eating paper, etc.). Urinary system symptoms may include increased thirst and urination, & in a majority of porto-systemic shunt cases, there will be crystals or stones formed in the urinary tract. These crystals will be either uric acid or ammonium urate (ammonium biurate or thorn-apple crystals.). There can be bladder stones formed or crystals may be noted on the hair around the prepuce or vulva.
Laboratory Findings: Routine performed serum chemistries are fairly nonspecific toward confirming the diagnosis of porto-systemic shunts, but there may be a decreased total protein (primarily albumin), decreased blood glucose, decreased cholesterol, & decreased blood urea nitrogen (BUN). The uric acid levels may be elevated in a significant number of affected individuals. Acid levels are extremely important in the diagnostic screening of symptomatic potential shunts. Fasting and 2-hr. post meal blood samples are evaluated for bile acid levels. In virtually all porto-systemic shunts there will be a significant rise in the bile acid levels over normal. The use of bile acids in screening clinically normal dogs for liver shunts is not currently being advised due to the variation of normal bile acid levels in Yorkshire Terriers, & other breeds as well. Reports of recent vaccination with modified-live vaccines causing high serum bile acid levels in normal animals have not been confirmed as of this time. Liver function testing with Bromosulfaphthalein (BSP) or ammonia tolerance testing are sensitive & reliable if performed correctly. These tests measure the liver's ability to excrete/detoxify known agents, and thus measure liver function accurately.
Radiography. Radiography is one of the most important methods of establishing a diagnosis of porto-systemic shunt, & is currently the only universally accepted method of confirming a shunt, short of major surgery. Injection of a radiopaque dye into the spleen (Splenoportograpy) will show the shunt on radiographs & allow accurate assessment for surgical correction.
Nuclear Medicine. The placement of a radiopharmaceutical agent (radioisotope) specific for the liver into the colon for absorption through the mucosa has been gaining favor because of its noninvasive diagnostic value. This procedure requires expensive equipment & the diagnosis is based on the distribution of the radionuclide in the lung or heart compared to that in the liver. This procedure also does not identify the exact location of the shunt for surgical correction if required.
Ultrasound. Until recently, ultrasound was fairly unreliable for nonsurgical diagnosis of porto-systemic shunts. With the advent of Color Flow Ultrasound, there is the potential for diagnosis of this condition on non-anesthetized animals. At the present time, this technology appears to be the diagnostic procedure of choice. If currently undertaken research confirms its value, Color Doppler Ultrasound will soon be the preferred screening and diagnostic tool.
At the present time, Hepatic Porto-Systemic shunts are considered to be UNQUESTIONABLY genetic by some of the leading canine experts, but the mode has not been identified at the present time; research is being conducted at Michigan State University to identify this pattern. Genetic disorders in dogs can spread relatively rapidly if a dog, whether affected or a carrier, is a well-respected animal in either conformation or ability, and is used extensively for breeding. This is especially true in the case of the male that can produce hundreds of offspring during his breeding life. If the cause of such a condition can be discovered, then a working strategy can be implemented to control and eliminate the disorder.
The Yorkshire Terrier Club of America Foundation, Inc. is currently funding research into both the genetic nature of the problem & into the use of Color Flow Doppler Ultrasound as a diagnostic & screening tool. These steps will hopefully become the basis for setting up an open registry for Yorkshire Terriers & other affected breeds to hopefully eliminate, or at least minimize the problem within each breed.
For More information contact the YTCA
(experts from a letter I received 2-10-00) My name is Karen Tobias and I am a surgeon at University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. I have been studying and surgically correcting portosystemic shunts for 15 years. I have recently received funding from the AKC Canine Health Foundation and the YTCA to study genetics of normal Yorkies and Yorkies with liver shunts.
The Canine Health Foundation of the American Kennel Club and the Yorkshire Terrier Club of America have joined forces to investigate the cause of one of the breed's most heartbreaking diseases: Congenital Portosystemic Shunts. Portosystemic shunts, or "PSS", are abnormal blood vessels that form a bypass around the liver. Toxic blood that is normally filtered and cleansed by the liver is shunted to the heart and brain, resulting in depression, behavior changes, poor growth rate, and other signs of illness in affected dogs.
One out of every seven Yorkshire Terriers presented to Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine for any reason was found to have a portosystemic liver shunt! The hereditary nature of this birth defect has already been established in Irish Wolfhounds, Maltese, and other breeds. Many breeders assume the disease is genetic in Yorkshire Terriers as well; however, this has yet to be proven.
Goals of our study: Our study will serve as the first step in identifying a genetic cause for Congenital Portosystemic Shunts. By evaluating pedigrees of affected and unaffected Yorkshire Terriers we will try to answer the following questions: Are liver shunts genetic? Do liver shunts occur equally throughout the breed or is there an increased risk of portosystemic shunts with certain ancestors? What is the risk of inheriting a portosystemic shunt? And, is it likely that we will be able to isolate a carrier gene? If a genetic basis for PSS is found, the information gained can then be used to pursue genetic testing for the condition.
Dr. Karen Tobias can be reach
at : Dr. Karen Tobias, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences,
PO Box 1071, Knoxville TN, 37901-1071.
Luxating is a fancy word for dislocating.
Patella is your dog's "knee", the joint on the front of her
hind leg. So a luxating patella is a dislocating knee or trick knee,
a knee that keeps slipping out of its socket. This can happen in yorkies
with weak ligaments, tendons, and/or muscles. It can also happen in
Yorkies whose kneecap groove is too narrow or shallow. The knee usually
slips inwardly, toward her body, and locks so that your Yorkie can't
bend her leg.
Is luxation serious?
How is luxation treated?
Natural ways to treat your Yorkie:
What causes luxating
For More Information visit the Orthopedic Foundation of America
Legg-Perthes, also called Legg-Calve-Perthes (LCP) disease, is a disease of the hip joints of small breeds of dogs. The head of the femur (the ball part of the ball and socket) begins to die and disintegrate. This causes limping, pain, and eventually arthritis. It usually appears between 6-12 months of age. It is treated surgically by removing the head of the femur and letting the muscles form a "false joint." It really does work. The dogs recuperate very well from surgery.
Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (aseptic
or a vascular necrosis of the femoral head)
Eclampsia is an acute, life-threatening disease caused by low calcium levels (hypocalcemia) in dogs and more rarely in cats. The lactating animal is especially susceptible to blood calcium depletion because of lactating. The bodies of some lactating dogs and cats simply cannot keep up with the increased demands for this mineral that they receive from their diet. Please remember that the diet may be fine for these affected individuals, but they lack the ability to quickly shunt calcium to their milk without depleting their own bodies.
Eclampsia is most commonly encountered 1-3 weeks after giving birth, but it can occur anytime, even while pregnant. Litters do not need to be large to cause eclampsia but usually heavy milkers are at a greater risk, as are dogs of smaller breeds. The puppies and kittens themselves are not affected as the mother’s milk appears to be normal during this period.
Signs of eclampsia
Treatment of eclampsia
If she responds well to treatment, her young can gradually be allowed to nurse.
Prevention of eclampsia
In conclusion, it is of great importance for breeders to be able to recognize the signs of eclampsia. If you feel your female is showing these signs, remove the kittens or pups to prevent further nursing and seek veterinary assistance at once.
As part of the normal circulatory system, lymph fluid is collected from tissues throughout the body and returned to the blood by way of the lymphatic vessels. In intestinal lymphangiectasia, normal drainage is blocked so that intestinal lymph leaks into the intestines instead of being returned to the circulation. This results in the loss of proteins, lymphocytes ( a type of white blood cell), and lipids or fats into the stool.
Intestinal lymphangiectasia may be congenital (present from birth) due to malformation of the lymphatic system, or it may be acquired in association with another disease.
What does intestinal lymphangiectasia mean to your dog & you?
Signs of intestinal lymphangiectasia usually develop slowly over several months, and may come and go. Your dog may fail to gain weight or may progressively lose weight. The loss of protein into the bowel causes loss of fluid from the circulation into the limbs, the abdomen, or the chest. Your dog's legs and/or abdomen may appear swollen and he/she may have trouble breathing. There may be a chronic persistent or intermittent diarrhea due to the loss of protein, fluid and fat into the bowel.
How is intestinal lymphangiectasia diagnosed?
If your dog has the signs described above, your veterinarian will likely suspect one of the diseases that result in loss of proteins into the gut. Laboratory tests and an intestinal biopsy are necessary to diagnose the specific cause.
For the veterinarian:
CLINICAL: diarrhea is usually mild or inapparent, in comparison with other protein-losing enteropathies.
LABORATORY: hypoproteinemia with hypocholesteremia, lymphocytopenia, and/or hypoglobulinemia; frequently also see hypocalcemia due to vitamin D and calcium mal-absorption. It is important to assess liver and kidney function to rule out non-enteric causes of hypoproteinemia.
SURGERY: a biopsy is necessary for definitive diagnosis by histologic examination. At surgery, usually see prominent network of milky distended lymphatic channels in the mesentery or on serosal surface.
How is intestinal lymphangiectasia treated?
This condition can not be cured but it can generally be well-managed by you and your veterinarian. Remissions of several months with occasional flare-ups are common.
The major goal of therapy is to reduce the loss of proteins into the intestine, to restore normal protein levels in your dog. This is done through diet, and medication to reduce inflammation in the intestinal wall. An ideal diet for dogs with intestinal lymphangiectasia contains minimal fat, and an ample quantity of high-quality protein. There are commercial prescription diets available which fulfill these requirements, or your veterinarian can give you information to prepare a low-fat diet at home. In either case, you will need to supplement your dog's diet with fat-soluble vitamins, due to the poor absorption of fat that occurs with this condition.
Corticosteroids are given to reduce inflammation, and thereby reduce loss of protein and associated diarrhea. Your veterinarian may also prescribe antibiotics.
Burrows, C.F., Batt, R.M., Sherding,
R.G. 1995. Diseases of the small intestine. In S.J. Ettinger and E.C.
Feldman (eds.) Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine. p. 1224-1225.
W.B. Saunders Co., Toronto.
Hypoglycemia is the medical term for low blood sugar, which is a condition in which there is a drastic, sudden drop in the level of blood sugar in the puppy. In small breed puppies from post-weaning to 4 month of age, the most common form of hypoglycemia is called Transient Juvenile Hypoglycemia: “Transient” because the symptoms can be reversed by eating; "Juvenile" because it is seen in young puppies.
Background on blood sugar:
How are small breeds different?
What are the symptoms?
What causes it?
What is the Treatment?
If your puppy is conscious, give him/her a little Karo Syrup, or Honey under its tongue, or rubbed on its gums. You can also mix honey, or corn syrup with pedialite, stir to dissolve, and dribble it into the puppy's mouth. I think that Nutri-Cal also works extremely well in an emergency. I will give my puppy a ‘squeeze of Nutri-Cal’ into their month. The puppy should begin to improve within about ten to fifteen minutes, if not contact your vet as quickly as you can.
(Nutri-Cal is a high calorie dietary supplement in a low volume form. It is a great tasting vitamin paste. You can purchase this tube for under $10.00. I recommend that you have this on hand for all emergencies and especially when you travel with your yorkie.)
Are there other causes of Hypoglycemia
| Main | | Pictures
| | Ancestor Pictures | | Medical
| Show Information | | Shopping | | Links | | Rings | | Awards | | E-Mail |
email address here
419 North Superior Ave. Baraga, MI 49908